Uncle Tom’s Cabin Literary Analysis Essay
The book was written by a white American woman Harriet Beecher Stowe born of a prominent family of preachers and slave abolitionists. It was first published as a series in 1851 and later in 1852 as a book due to public demand. The main character and protagonist, Uncle Tom is featured as a long suffering black American slave, strongly anchored on his Christian faith. It is around him that other characters as well as the whole narration revolve. Mourns for the family he was forced to leave when he was sold as a slave. He retains his integrity and refuses to betray his fellow and for this he is killed. He has firm Christian principles which makes him a hero to the white as they treated him brutally. Another character Simon Legree who is a slave dealer who later becomes the Louisiana plantation owner torments the slaves with his cruelty. He is barbaric and vicious. He is used to bring out the perspective of how slavery turns whites into heartless devils, perpetrating moral ills they would have never committed. She convinced readers that slavery is evil as it supported cruel people like Legree while it unfairly punishes good people like Uncle Tom.
The novel brings out the evils related to slavery and while it alleges the power in Christian love e in conquering destructive evils such as slavery. Of the much antislavery literature produced Stowe’s anti-slavery book reached the broadest audience as she was less threatening to white audiences unlike the black ex-slaves who had gone through the ordeals of slavery.
In the novel Stowe idealizes Christianity free of hypocrisy and self-righteousness and implies that such Christianity would help end slavery. She uses Quakers to bring out such Christians Stowe brings out the pain mothers who lose their children to slavery go through. She lost a child in infancy and this experience made her empathize with the losses suffered by slave mothers whose children were sold. She says “I have been a mother of seven children, the most beautiful and most loved of whom lies buried near my Cincinnati residence. It was at his dying bed and at his grave that I learned what a poor slave mother may feel when her child is torn away from her.”
In one heroic scene, Eliza, who is Mrs. Shelby’s maid proves the strength of her motherly love when she makes a daring move by crossing a frozen river Ohio as she tries to prevent the sale of her son Harris to slave dealers, immediately she discovers her master’s plans to sell him. The novel argued that slaves are not their masters’ property but fellow human beings with emotions just like the readers and their masters. I n the novel Stowe portrayed intimate stories to show how slavery is making human beings harm others.
The novel is considered to be one of the major writings that stirred the civil war. Some even believe the novel alone started that war. Though many today quip that the novel promotes racism from how it presents blacks as subservient, longsuffering humans who should allow the whites to misuse them, the sensational way in which Stowe discredits slavery would have stirred anyone to action. This makes the book a great literally work.
Stowe, H. B. (2002). Uncle Tom’s cabin. Oxford: Oxford University Press.